The 1023E I'm buying used (75 hrs) has FEL and MMM but no ballast. I can't believe he used it without ballast. I asked if he ever got the rear wheels off the ground, answer was yes. Options I've been researching include ballast box (bulky and ugly), suitcase weights, fluid in tires (seems like it would be a real pain if you have to change a tire or tube and not easily removed), wheel weights, etc. I like the suitcase weights (compact and easy to attach/remove/store), and found a set of 6 x 40lbs + hitch bracket nearby for $395. Sounds like it is a Cat 0 implement from a lawn tractor, but I think you can adapt that to a Cat 1 hitch. Trouble is that is only about 275 lbs total and won't accept more weights. Operator manual says 500lbs minimum ballast for the loader, does that sound right? If so, I'd need to add wheel weights or tire fluid to get me into the 400 - 500 lb range. I have also designed on paper a welded metal frame I could build that attaches to the 3PH and is then filled with concrete. I'd need a 24"x15"x15" block of concrete to get it around 500 lbs. Used to have something similar on the front end of a JD 2510 for plowing. Not sure how excited I am about that option either though.
Thoughts? Suggestions? I'm renting a trailer and making a 300 mile road trip to pick up the tractor tomorrow..
ps. thx for all the great replies to my first post on the independent lift!